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Week 2 – general

July 14, 2009

Well, two weeks in and already one week behind on my blog!

At this rate, by the end of the project, I will be having to remember something six months hence each time I sit down to comment. Anyway that will give time for reflection.

This week was the start of my theoretical conversations with artists, and I also got to spend some time considering different ways to execute poetry output within the centre. It’s long been the case that I find it hard to produce poems without knowing how exactly they will find an audience, or how they will be presented, so this seems like a logical place to begin – especially as it is an issue that grows in complexity and depth the more conversations I have with practicing artists of all disciplines.

It was also interesting to have a proper conversation with Artistic Director Bryan Biggs who gave me a reading list of impressive variety and scope over the course of a couple of hours. Bryan has an infectious curiosity, and it was a real luxury to spend a serious period of time discussing my ambitions for this residency, and poetry production in general, in such a free-flowing manner. Most of the stuff in this week’s reading list is down to him, including a fascinating book produced by Alec Finlay – who I plan to contact soon – to accompany the bird boxes he made for the Bluecoat, called Specimen Colony.


Some suggestions that came out of this chat included the possibility of playing recorded and live sound into the courtyard spaces. That is a really exciting possibility to me, and will certainly inform some of the directions I hope to be taking in terms of the public spaces at the Bluecoat. It actually got me thinking about the possibility of preparing audiences for the gallery space, maybe to be trialled at the Slow Magic exhibition. Really rough idea. And, as always, the idea is signified by the terrible image in your head of it being done badly – this idea done badly would be a sort of slow whale noises thing, with itchy-bitty self-satisfied poems being read out by me in a dreamy voice, played on a loop over the front courtyard….

The cape, like a slow swooning swoosh of paint.

The magician leaps and his sleeve speaks handkerchiefs

coughs wands, and vomits rabbits.

The paint flows, this is how the painter rolls.

O, baby. Imagine that booming down on your wet cobbles. [Judder]. Anyway, you have to know what these ideas would be like if they were done badly in order to keep yourself in check. In this way, knowing how your idea would turn out if executed terribly is second best to knowing how it would sound executed really well.

Other featured conversations this week were Andre Guedes, who I filmed as the first in what I plan to be a series of “Why?” interviews; Karen McCleod, an artist based in the Bluecoat with whom I am generating a new performance piece, on the theme Emotional Engagement; and Amro Gebreel, an academic guy up in one of the studios, who has printing as a hobby. Look at this! (try to ignore my shameless shoe-horning of The End of the Line into every conversation I have at the moment)

I might use this letter press to make some really cool ‘things’ for the public spaces.  Also, this video shows that I know how to imbed stuff on my blog.

So there!


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